Bulldogs remain optimistic after close losses
EUDORA — Brock Hartshorn kept a positive attitude here Tuesday after his Bulldogs were narrowly swept in a doubleheader.
Signs of a young team’s improvements are often hard to see by the casual fan. They can be even tougher when the team has a 4-9 record, which is exactly what the Baldwin High School baseball team has right now.
The Bulldogs had a chance to add a couple of wins to their total Tuesday, but fell two runs short of beating the rival Cardinals. BHS lost 8-7 and 4-3 as its seventh inning rallies fell short twice.
“Those were tough losses,” senior Andy Thurlow said. “It was kind of disappointing to be that close and lose both games. We were up in the first game for a couple of innings. We battled back, but just couldn't finish the games.”
Despite the pair of defeats, Hartshorn tried to remain positive about the contests. He said the two Frontier League teams might meet again in the Class 4A regional tournament, which begins May 18 in Tonganoxie.
“We played well against a good team for two games,” Hartshorn said. “We took them to seven innings twice. We just didn’t get a timely hit. We had a chance in both games to tie the game in the seventh with good hitters up to bat. That’s baseball. Some nights you get the hits and some nights, you don’t.
“We are getting better every game,” he said. “A year ago, that’s a team (Eudora) that run-ruled us in both games. It’s the same kids this year and we nearly beat them.”
Baldwin began the day with a 2-0 lead in the first inning of the opening game. Eudora responded with four runs during the next two innings. However, Baldwin rallied with a strong fourth inning.
Freshman Jake Mindez, sophomore Landon Ausherman and sophomore Josh Hoffman all scored runs for the Bulldogs. They took a quick 5-4 lead before Eudora regained the lead in the bottom of the inning.
Baldwin rallied in the top of the seventh with two runs. However, BHS left two runners on base as the game ended.
“We started off the games playing well, but struggled to hit after that,” Thurlow said. “We definitely hit better in the first game.”
The Bulldogs struggled to find offense in the second game of the doubleheader. Eudora scored three runs early and maintained a 3-0 lead through four innings.
Ausherman got BHS on the scoreboard in the fifth inning. But once again, Eudora answered with one run on a throwing error by the Bulldogs.
Baldwin hung tough and scored two more runs in the sixth. Sophomore Kyle Pattrick hit an RBI that scored Mindez. Pattrick later scored in the inning, closing the Cardinals’ lead to 4-3.
“The hits were sporadic in the second game,” Hartshorn said. “Kyle Pattrick remains the hottest guy on our team. I think he’s near .600. He’s now got a triple and three home runs. He’s having an amazing season. He was sick tonight and throwing up in the first game, but came in and pitched the last four innings of the second game. It was a gutsy performance.”
BHS struck out in the seventh inning to end the doubleheader. Tuesday’s games were the first for Baldwin since its contest at Saint James on April 25.
“We had a couple errors that gave them a few runs.” Hartshorn said. “All in all, for a 10-day layoff, I thought we played pretty well.”
Baldwin is scheduled to play De Soto at 4:30 p.m. today at the Johnson County 3&2 fields.